Sunday, November 25, 2007

bushy tailed

baby summer's feats for week three:

--she holds her head up and turns it from side to side while on her belly
--she tries to drink her bath water
--she holds her own pacifier in
--she likes to eat sitting up
--she continues to show forth more of the "Young" half of her genetic code
--she went to a whole three hours of church (truly, an achievement for anyone)
this is a photo of what she looks like at three in the morning...bummer for me.
(ps: thanks to lisa for the adorable ensemble!)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A fuller spectrum of Bryan

I've been sitting on a significant piece of news in order to not steal Summer's thunder. In an effort to cram two years worth of stressful life events into a single week, I left Microsoft on Oct. 31 (4 business days before Summer was born). On November 1st, I became an man.

Astute readers will note that this move is not as drastic as it sounds. MSNBC is a joint venture between Microsoft and NBC Universal. This means I get a lot of the Microsoft plusses (resources) without a lot of the minuses (corporate bureaucracy). In fact, my new office is still on Microsoft campus, a mere 300 yards from my old one.

More fundamentally, this shift represents another step along the path I started back in grad school. In essence, I've been travelling along the ideas-technology-business spectrum. Let me explain:
  1. Grad School -- This was all about pursuing ideas for their own sake. Although we were solving real problems, it didn't matter if the horizon for widespread application was many years off.

  2. Microsoft -- I was on a platform team. Only developers directly interacted with my "product." It was all about the technology. Technical contributors were more or less insulated from business considerations.

  3. MSNBC -- With Microsoft as a parent, you can bet we have a strong technology bent. Nevertheless, projects without strong business justification don't see the light of day.

My expectations have not been disappointed. On Friday, we held a kickoff meeting for the first big project I'll be working on. I expected to discuss features and schedules. Instead, we spent the time debating the practical value of the project.

I think I'm going to like it here.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

the last sunny day

summer is now a week old. to celebrate, we went for her first walk--which she happily slept through.

also in need of celebration: mama fit into her pre-pregnancy jeans! quite the accomplishment, as those of you who know me well know how tight i wear them...

and one further item of interest: whilst starting out as very much her father's daughter (see previous post), summer is beginning to look more and more like her mom everyday. still, some of her facial expressions are all dad.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

trailing clouds of glory

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
     Hath had elsewhere its setting,
      And cometh from afar:
     Not in entire forgetfulness,
     And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
     From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!

--William Wordsworth
Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood, excerpt

announcing summer elyse

i knew we had an advanced baby:

coming into our lives two weeks early, we got to meet our little girl on tuesday, november 6th at 9:55 pm. i would like to be able to say with harry chapin that she "came to the world in the usual way," but there were a few not so "usual" factors pertaining to her birth.
the beginning

the tale begins but two weeks ago at my 37th week check up. i was dilated to 4 cm (not entirely unusal) and my pelvic station was +1 (less frequent, but still nothing noteworthy). my doctor sent me home and told me i could go into labor at any time. of course, after consulting the vast knowledge base that is the internet, i learned that such a situation occurs frequently, and more often than not, the babies are not born early and the women just walk around for weeks at 4 cm.

i had not experienced any contractions and felt really great. i went about my business for the ensuing week, but i did have my mom change her plane ticket and come a week early, and i couldn't shake this strange feeling that i was going to wake up in the middle of the night and find the baby at the foot of my bed.

the labor

still having had no contractions that i was aware of, i went to my 38th week check up. there i learned that yes, i was dilated now to 8 cm; pelvic station +2.  Eight cm, people!, all unbeknownst to me. so abnormal is this situation that a long line of nurses came in to look at me to see what a walking, talking woman at 8 cm and technically in transition looked like. i still felt great.

thinking it a bit irresponsible to have me wandering around like that, the doctor broke my water and 5 hours, 25 minutes later, summer arrived.

while i acknowledge that i cheated labor (i only had about 10 contractions--granted, they were the 90 second, overlapping, physically demanding type, but still there were only a handful), i grossly underestimated pushing. more than half of my labor experience was spent in this stage.

now, i'm not going to romanticize my emotional state here: i screamed for an epidural, i demanded a c-section, i yelled obscenities at everyone in the room (you can ask bryan or my mom about a special moment and some choice words i had for my doctor). but finally, in a sensation i cannot describe, my baby was born.

speaking of screaming for drugs, bryan and i had decided a while back that this was going to be an unmedicated birth, and i am very pleased that we were able to reach our goal (though i will not gloss over my aforementioned moments of weakness). however, we did not previously realize how unusual natural births were in this area. it must have something to do with the demographic, but less than 5% of births at the hospital i delivered are drug free. again, a long line of nurses entered my room both during and after the birth to view my experience, calling me "the natural." ladies, if you are considering one way or the other, i would totally recommend au naturale. recovery has been great and the birth itself was phenomenal.

the baby

of course, summer is beautiful. she looks so much like her father, and her face is incredibly expressive. she was born with a good amount of hair (a curse from my genes that has finally been lifted), my nose, and perfect lips. she is awake and alert more than we thought she would be, hates having her diaper changed, and breastfeeds like a champ. what we ever did to deserve such a pure gift we will surely never know.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

To the Pumpkin Smashers

To the hoodlums who visited my house last night:

If something is worth doing, it's worth doing right

I'm slightly indignant that you did such a poor job of smashing my pumpkin. From the crime scene, it would appear that you were barely strong enough to carry the pumpkin off my door step and may have even accidentally dropped it. When it came time to destroy it, you were unable to raise the pumpkin sufficently high to cause a proper smashing. Next time, bear in mind the following:
  1. Patience is a virtue: you must wait for pumpkins to rot; once you've waited long enough the job of smashing will become trivial

  2. Real glory requires taking real risks: don't brag to your friends about smashing the pumpkins at the one house on the block with the light off and owners out for the evening. Try smashing all the pumpkins on the street where the police officer lives.

Something to look forward to
The pumpkins will be heavily booby trapped after 9PM on Halloween next year. Please stop by for a visit.



PS -- To all those parents wondering how to explain pumpkin smashing to small, terrified children, consider making up a mythical creature that only smashes the most fantastic pumpkins in the neighborhood. Next year they'll await the pumpkin smashsers with glee generally reserved for Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

game over

we never doubted the intellectual aptitude of our readership: already, we have a winner for our name game. we thought about continuing to post clues and press forward with the contest, but our attention spans are pretty short, as we imagine most others are also.

the winner will be informed and congratulated here shortly. maybe even sooner than previously anticipated (one can only dream).

on a somewhat different note, we carved that beautiful squatty pumpkin from the pumpkin patch. bryan so loves his job as guts-cleaner-outer. can't you tell?